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£9m in compensation, plus annual payments, after negligence at birth causes life of ‘acute disability’

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A TEENAGER born to a life of acute disability due to a negligent delay in his delivery at a Pembrokeshire hospital will receive millions in NHS compensation.

Hywell Dda University Local Health Board issued a public apology for failings in care at Haverfordwest’s Withybush Hospital that led to the boy’s injuries.

And it agreed to pay him a lump sum of £8,950,000, plus substantial, index-linked, annual sums to cover the costs of the constant care he will always need.

The judge, Mr Justice Stewart, told London’s High Court there was a negligent delay in delivering the boy by Caesarean section in 2006.

His mother suffered a ruptured uterus and her baby’s brain was damaged by oxygen starvation, resulting in cerebral palsy.

He has learning difficulties and mild epilepsy and needs to live in a one-storey, wheelchair-accessible, home, the court heard.
“He vocalises a lot, and some of this has meaning, but he will always be dependent on others for his most basic needs,” the judge added.
The health board admitted liability in full for the boy’s injuries and a final settlement of his medical negligence claim was today approved by the judge.

Together with the lump sum, he will receive annual payments of £174,000, rising to £270,000 in 2024. Those payments will continue for the rest of his life.
Experts predict that he will live to the age of 70, although all involved in the case hoped that was an under-estimate.
NHS counsel, Michael Horne QC, said: “The health board apologises unreservedly for the fact that the care fell below the expected standards.
“It is deeply sorry, lessons have been learned and the health board has written directly to the family.”
Praising the “outstanding level of care” given to the boy by his parents, the barrister said: “They have done all they can to help him achieve his potential and we pay tribute to them for that.”

Approving the settlement, the judge said: “I am satisfied that a proper and professional assessment has been made.”
He concluded: “It is clear just how much loving care has been given to him by his parents who have worked together for the common good.
“I hope that this settlement will enable the claimant and his family to enjoy as full a life as possible in the knowledge that his needs will always be catered for.”

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Storm Christoph set to batter Wales says Met Office [Video]

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STORM Christoph will cause heavy rain and flooding in Wales on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the Met Office has said.

Forecasters are warning that there could be up to 200mm in some parts of north Wales and say that the heaviest and “most persistent” rain will be in Wales.

The warning states: “Several days of persistent, and occasionally heavy, rain are expected to affect the region as Storm Christoph affects the UK.

The heaviest and most persistent rain is likely to be across Wales and the high ground of northern England.

“By early Thursday, 30-60 mm of rain is expected to have fallen widely across the warning area, with 100-150 mm over the high ground of Wales and northern England.

“Up to 200 mm is possible across parts of north Wales and northwest England.

“Melting snow across higher parts of the Pennines may exacerbate the potential for flooding. Strong winds will also accompany the rainfall and may add to travelling difficulties across areas higher and more exposed routes.”

The warning is in place from midnight on Tuesday until noon on Thursday (January 21).

Welsh forecaster Derek Brockway says: “Large rainfall totals on high ground in south and northwest Wales.

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Enabling works start at regeneration site in Pembroke

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WORK has started on the highly anticipated South Quay regeneration project in Pembroke.

Ambitious plans by Pembrokeshire County Council will see the site next to Pembroke Castle developed into a Visitor Centre, celebrating the town’s history and heritage and incorporating a new Library and Café.

The scheme will also include major enhancements to the public realm and landscaping improvements and public access to the building’s gardens at the rear.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economic Development, welcomed work starting on site.

“I’m delighted to see work getting underway. These buildings, right in the heart of Pembroke, have been left to rot for more than a decade by previous Council administrations but thankfully no longer. I am committed to Pembroke and am personally determined to help the town see a brighter future.

“Our investment in South Quay is just the first and most visible part of our commitment to the future of Pembroke and I’m looking forward to engaging with the community on the next steps over the coming months.”

The enabling works, undertaken by contractors Lloyd and Gravell are to ready the site for the development contract. They include the clearing and preparation of the site ready for the stabilisation of derelict buildings in Castle Terrace.

The South Quay project has secured £901,590 of Welsh Government Transforming Towns funding to support delivery of the first stage enabling works.

Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn said: “The regeneration of South Quay is a fantastic example of how support though our Transforming Towns programme can be used to breathe new life into an old building to create a centre that will become as asset to the local community and celebrate the town’s history.  I look forward to seeing how this work progresses.”

Cllr Aaron Carey, County Councillor for Pembroke St Mary South, said it was good to see progress on site.

“No amount of plans or drawings can prepare you for the huge task at hand when the project is seen up close,” he said.

“We as a community are putting our generation’s mark on a thousand year old town and it’s really exciting to see the work being started on site after so many years as an eyesore in the castle’s shadow.”

(Pictured are Cllr Paul Miller and Cllr Aaron Carey at South Quay in Pembroke, where work has started on a key regeneration project.)

 

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Stephen Crabb MP to defy whips on Universal Credit uplift

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PRESELI MP Stephen Crabb will defy the Conservative whip for the first time today.

The former Work and Pensions Secretary will ignore an instruction to abstain on a non-binding Labour motion to keep the £20 uplift to Universal Credit beyond March 31.

In his Spending Review last November, Chancellor Rishi Sunak refused to commit to keeping the £20 payment. The Chancellor introduced it last year to compensate families of the unemployed or
those on low incomes for the extra costs they incur during the Covid pandemic.

Stephen Crabb has repeatedly made it clear that he wants the £20 top-up to continue to give the poorest and most vulnerable at least some cushion from the effects of the deepening recession.

Although the Westminster Government claims it is optimistic about the economy’s future, the short-to-medium term looks grim.

Many businesses have closed and are unlikely to reopen. Not all of those who lost their jobs will get back into employment. It is likely any jobs on offer once the economy picks up will be low
paid and leave many still dependent on Universal Credit in some form.

Speaking on Times Radio this morning, Mr Crabb said: “No one can say we have a generous benefits system. We don’t. The unemployment component of benefits is at its lowest for a generation.

Withdrawing that additional £20 per week at the end of March will cause hardship. I don’t think it’s the right thing to do.”

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